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  • Bankbazaar.sg offers you a wide range of credit cards to chose from. Select the one that is tailored to meet all your needs and requirements and enjoy the myriad of benefits and features on them.

    Introduction to Credit Cards

    In this modern age of fast and seamless living, credit cards are a reality of life. When speaking of credit cards in Singapore, this cosmopolitan, consumer friendly haven is definitely high on the concept. In essence, credit cards are a debt instrument that comes with a pre-determined credit limit. These cards free the cardholder from carrying actual currency and are very convenient and safe for offline and online transactions. Technically, the cardholder is accessing an unsecured loan from the issuing bank, that needs to be repaid in full. The spends incur interest charges, though the said interest is only charged on outstanding amount on a monthly basis. Today, credit cards in Singapore are the most popular financial product and the trend is fast catching on!

    When speaking of credit cards, the important factor includes finding everything you can about a card, its features, limitations and importantly, the payments involved. BankBazaar.sg allows you such a resource- helping you understand the different features of credit cards in Singapore, things to remember before applying, applicable interest rates of various cards and other benefits that contribute to a satisfactory credit card experience. The great number of credit cards on offer, and the expansive benefits offered by each, helps your cause immensely.

    How to use a Credit Card?

    Credit cards can definitely prove to be the best friend in a pocket, if one knows how to use it. The credit card that belongs to you can be used at several merchant outlets accepting the brand of your credit card. When you make a purchase at a retail store using your credit card, you are also required to sign a sales slip generated by the card machine. You can keep one copy and the other copy of the sales slip is retained by the shopkeeper for his records. The shopkeeper sends the slip to the bank or card issuer for claiming the due amount. Your bank or card issuer clears the payment on your behalf and sends the statement of the credit card transaction to your registered address or email. You are also provided with a date within which you are supposed to repay the debt to the bank or card issuer. A partial payment can be made by you, in case you cannot make the full payment. However, a partial payment will also lead to accumulation of interest on the outstanding amount.

    Key features of Credit Cards

    • Get access to money instantly - Using a credit card is one of the most common methods of borrowing from the bank. You can set your credit limit on the card as per your expenses and convenience. The amount you owe is generally represented by the outstanding balance on the credit card. You may choose to pay in instalments which would also add up interest on the remaining balance. You could also opt for a full repayment at one go.
    • Enjoy free credit period or Grace period - In general, a grace period or a free credit period of twenty to twenty five days is offered to you for making the repayments. During this period, you can clear the outstanding balance on your credit card, without paying any amount for interest.
    • Balance Transfer Facility: The Balance Transfer facility allows the transfer of the outstanding balance amount with one credit card to another credit card of a different bank offering lower rate of interest for a particular period. In general, the period ranges between six to twelve months, After this period, the rate of interest goes back to the prevalent rates, which is 24 percent per annum, usually.
    • Cash Advance Facility: The Cash Advance Facility enables you to earn more cash, drawing down from available credit limit on the credit card. About 3 percent to 6 percent of the total cash advance is charged as fees. The rate of interest charged is 24 percent per annum or 2 percent per month. The interest starts from the day of cash advance and end only when the repayment is done fully.
    • Zero percent interest charges: Often, instalment plans that come with zero percent interest charges associated with them. In such cases, you might be paying the same amount as someone who is paying the total amount for the product, upfront in cash
    • Rewards & Gifts: The banks provide several gifts when you make use of your credit card to purchase things on a regular basis. At times, there are some terms and conditions associated with it.
    • Credit Card Statement: The bank sends regular monthly statements for all your transactions made using the credit card. Any transaction made before the last date of statement will be recorded and sent with the statement. You must check your credit card statement carefully in order to track all your expenses.

    Various Types of Credit Cards in Singapore

    Credit cards are versatile as well as plentiful, specializing in a myriad of different options including fuel, fine dining, air travel and membership to speciality clubs. The different types of credit cards on offer in Singapore are as follows-

    1. Cashback Credit Cards - These cards rebate a set percentage of the spends back to the cardholder as cash.
    2. Reward Credit Cards- These cards offer reward points for purchases made using the credit card. The earned points can be redeemed for gifts, vouchers and other such goods.
    3. Premium Credit Cards- These cards offer privileges on higher end products and services like fine dining, golf etc.
    4. Low Interest Cards- When compared to the usual cards, these cards offer a lower interest rate.
    5. Travel Miles Credit Cards- For selected purchases, these cards offer air-mile points that can be redeemed for travel related privileges, including air tickets and seat upgrades.
    6. Petrol Cards- These cards offer fuel related benefits, including cash rebates or extra reward points upon using your credit card at partner petrol stations.
    7. Dining Credit Cards- These credit cards offer you special discounts and perks for dining at the best restaurants
    8. Shopping Credit Cards- These cards provide great offers and discounts for shopping at several merchant outlets all across the globe
    9. Students Credit Cards- The credit cards that are designed to meet all the needs and requirements of a student
    10. Business Credit Cards- These credit cards are specifically devised to cater to your business related expenditures
    11. Lifestyle Credit Cards- Enjoy several benefits that will meet your lifestyle needs including movies, shopping, etc.
    12. Insurance Cards- If you want to avail extensive coverage and protection, these cards are definitely a one stop solution for you.

    Thus, being aware of your specific requirements will help you narrow down to the credit card that works best for you.

    How to Choose a Credit Card?

    Given that there are too many credit cards available in Singapore, choosing the right credit card could be a little tricky. You need to first understand your requirements, before you decide to apply for a card. Here are a few tips that will help you to choose the right card:

    1. Understand why you need the card - You need to first understand why you need the card and for what purpose will you use it. If you are going to use it for your daily expenses, you should opt for a card that offer higher cash rebates, cashback or offers good reward points. However, if you want to access luxurious benefits with your card, you can opt for a premium or platinum card that will offer you with exclusive lifestyle privileges and tons of other benefits. Similarly, if you want to get a card for overseas usage, you can opt for a travel credit card.
    2. Understand the annual fee charged for the card - You should figure out how much annual fee you can afford to pay for the card. If you can afford to pay a higher amount as an annual fee, you can opt for a premium credit card that can offer you with golfing privileges, concierge services and a range of other exclusive lifestyle benefits. On the other hand, if you cannot afford a higher annual fee, you should opt for a basic card that offers good enough features at a low or no annual fee.
    3. Understand the interest and fees charged with the card - You should also have a clear idea about the interest and other fees charged with the card so that you can calculate your total cost of borrowing. If you pay off the balance of the card in full (i.e. pay off in full the purchases made with the card), you will not have to pay any interest and will most likely not need to pay any other fee. However, if you do not do so you will need to pay interest on the balance of the card and other applicable fees. Hence, you need to have a clear idea about the same and then you can select a card that comes with lower interest and other charges.
    4. Look for promotions and deals - Most credit card issuers will offer you with lucrative promotions, deals and discounts that are periodic in nature. These promotions and deals will not only help you to save money, but will also provide you with access to various privileges that are not available to other people. Thus, you should look for a credit card that can provide you with access to such promotions from time to time.
    5. Facilities offered with the card - It is important that you select a card that offers you with maximum value for money and so you should choose a card that offers you with maximum facilities possible, such as flexibility of converting transactions into Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs), higher interest free grace period, payment flexibility, wide acceptability, enhanced security for online payments and so on. When you opt for a card that offer you with such facilities, you enjoy your experience of using the credit card.

    How to apply for a Credit Card?

    Anyone can apply for a credit card if he meets the eligibility criteria. The bank considers several factors before accepting a credit card application. Once the application is accepted by the bank or the card issuer, you will get your credit card in a couple of days. Ensure that your credit report looks clean. Banks generally look at credit reports to judge a person’s credit worthiness. Make all your due payments on time and keep a good credit score to avail a credit card easily from a bank.

    Important Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for a Credit Card

    Maximum Credit Limit- 2x Monthly Salary for individuals earning less than S$30,000 annually. However, individuals earning more than S$30,000 annually can expect a credit limit of 4x Monthly Salary.

    Spending habits- Keep a check on your spending habits and do not max out the limit on your card to maintain a good credit score. Ensure that you understand your requirements and then choose as credit card accordingly as per your spending habits. May it be shopping or dining or entertainment, choosing a credit card on the basis of your spending habits is of utmost importance

    Minimum Monthly Repayment- S$50 or 3% of outstanding balance, whichever is higher. Every bank allows you to pay a minimum amount every month, in case you are unable to make the full payment at one go. On the date of repayment, you must at least pay the minimum balance that is due and the rest of the amount rolls over to the next repayment cycle as the outstanding balance. The minimum due amount ranges between 3 percent to 5 percent of the total remaining balance. It can also be a specific amount fixed by the bank. You will not be facing late payment issues if you keep paying the minimum balance in every repayment cycle. However, paying the minimum balance also attracts a lot of interest on the outstanding amount. Depending on the bank, the interest charges will be calculated either from the statement date or the date when the transaction took place.

    Documentation Required- For Permanent Residents of Singapore and Citizens,

    • Front and back copy of NRIC.
    • 12 months CPF Statement.

    For Non-Residents and Foreigners,

    • Complete overseas address and other contact details.
    • Latest one month pay-slip or Income Tax Notice of Assessment.
    • Copies of employment letter, passport and employment pass.

    Basic Eligibility Criteria (Individual banks may have differing requirements)-

    • The applicant must be above 21 years of age.
    • Minimum annual income must be above S$30,000.
    • Minimum annual income for foreigners and non-residents must be above S$60,000.

    Important Things to Understand After Receiving a Credit Card

    Once you have received your credit card, you will surely be excited about using it. However, before you start using your card for any expenses you should have a fair idea of some credit card related terminologies. Here is a list of the common terms associated with their credit cards and their meanings:

    Primary card: It is the principal or main credit card offered to the individual applicant.

    Supplementary card: It is the additional card (add-on card) offered to children, parents or spouse of the primary cardholder. Most banks offer up to 4 supplementary cards along with the primary credit card.

    Annual Fee: It is a yearly fee charged by the bank for offering you the credit card. The amount charged will depend on the type of card you opt for. There are no annual fees for a few credit cards offered by some of the banks in Singapore.

    Supplementary annual fee: It is a yearly fee charged for the supplementary or add-on cards. Some banks offer up to 2 supplementary cards for free i.e. no additional annual fees are charged for these cards.

    Retail interest rate: It is the annual or monthly interest rate charged on the card and is also known as the prime rate. The interest rate is charged on cash advances and on outstanding balances i.e. the balance amounts that are not paid in full within the due date.

    Cash Withdrawal interest rates & charges: They refer to the interest rates and charges applicable on cash withdrawn using the credit card. For cash withdrawals, interest is charged on the withdrawal amount from the time of withdrawal till the amount is paid in full.

    International Transaction Charges: They refer to the charges associated with using the credit card at foreign locations (i.e. transactions completed at foreign locations).

    Credit Card limit: It is also known as credit limit and it is the maximum amount up to which the cardholder can use his/ her card.

    Over Limit Fee: It is the fee charged when the cardholder exceeds the credit limit on the card. For example, if the limit on a card is S$1,000 and the total balance exceeds the amount, an over limit fee will be charged as applicable.

    Payment due date: It is the date by which the cardholder should make the payment of the outstanding credit card balance.

    Minimum Due Payment: It is the minimum amount that the cardholder needs to pay by the due date to use the card.

    Outstanding Due Payment: It refers to the outstanding balance of the card. The outstanding amount due is the sum of all the transactions completed with the card and the fees charged till date, minus the sum of all the payments made to the card.

    Late Payment Fee: It is the fee charged on the card when the payment is made after the due date has passed.

    Balance Transfer: It is a process by which the cardholder can transfer the outstanding balance of the credit card to another credit card (mostly to a credit card offered by another bank).

    Finance Charge: It refers to the fees, interest and other charges associated with using the credit card.

    Billing / Payment Cycle: It is the time between the dates when the statements are generated every month and the date by which the payment is usually due.

    Rewards: Rewards points are offered for transactions completed with the card. Cardholders can earn reward points for most of the transactions they complete with their card.

    Offers: Cardholders can avail lucrative offers on dining, online shopping and so on with their credit cards.

    Cancellation: The cardholders can cancel their credit cards if they no longer want to use it. They will still need to pay off the outstanding balance of the card.

    Replacement: If the card is lost, stolen or damaged, then cardholders can request for a replacement card.

    Credit Card Do’s & Don’ts

    Do Don’t
    Compare all the available options. (Either manually or using a third party comparison tool) Settle for the card with the ‘shock’ value. (Short term offers will end, look at the long term)
    Understand your requirement, big credit limits minus the need isn’t helpful later on. Think of a credit card as an ‘easy’ resource for ready cash. It is, but you need to pay back too.
    Keep a sharp lookout for the applicable interest rate, interest free period and hidden charges. Believe everything the manual told you. Refusal to bring your detective skills to the fore.
    Have a set repayment strategy on a month-on-month basis. Never be caught unprepared. Go on a buying spree as soon as the credit card reaches you. Remember your need for the credit card, do not alter the original plan.
    Utilize the card responsibly, thereby contributing to a strong credit history. Maxing out the card, running up big repayments, all within a short time after getting your card.

    Popular Credit Card Fees & Charges in Singapore

    The following lists some of the popular credit card options available in Singapore. Kindly note that these numbers are applicable when the applicant’s monthly income ranges from S$2,000 to S$3,500.

    Card Name. Bank. Minimum Income. Annual Fee. Interest Rate.
    Citibank Dividend Card Citibank S$2,500 S$193 24%
    HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card HSBC S$2,500 S$180 24%
    ANZ Switch Platinum Card ANZ S$2,500 Free 23%
    OCBC 365 Credit Card OCBC Bank S$2,500 S$161 25.92%
    Standard Chartered SingPost Platinum Visa Credit Card Standard Chartered Bank S$2,500 S$180 24.46%
    Maybank Duo Platinum Mastercard Maybank S$2,500 S$120 24%
    POSB Everyday Card POSB Bank S$2,500 S$39 24.9%
    CIMB Visa Signature CIMB Bank S$2,500 Free 27%
    Bank of China Family Rebate Card Bank of China S$2,500 S$150 25.88%
    UOB One Card UOB Bank S$2,500 S$128 25%

    Credit Card Interest Rates in Singapore

    Generally, for retail spending, the applicable interest rate in Singapore falls between 15% to 28% per annum. In case of cash advances, the applicable interest rate equates to about S$15 (minimum rate) or upto a minimum of 6% of the withdrawn amount. Herein, the interest rate applies to the outstanding amount that hasn’t been repaid back to the card issuing bank. Also, the timing of the payment also matters- pay it soon and the interest charged is comparatively lesser. In case of a late payment, a tiered late payment penalty will be imposed that drastically increments the outstanding balance, thereby forcing you to pay a higher interest rate.

    Top Singapore Banks with Credit Card Products

    Why BankBazaar.sg for Credit Cards?

    When it comes to knowing everything about credit cards in Singapore, BankBazaar.sg offers the following unbeatable advantages-

    1. Lots of Options- Every credit card option in Singapore, listed for your inspection.
    2. Save Time- Comprehensive information about credit cards and how to get them.
    3. Compare & Review- Compare the best cards, choose the one that suits you best.
    4. Be Prepared- Documentation, terms and conditions, interest rates, know it all!
    5. Second Opinions- Read reviews, updated literature about credit cards in Singapore.
    6. 24x7 Support- Have a query? We are just an email, phone call or chat-box away.
    7. 100% Safe- Your personal information is treated with the maximum care.

    Credit Cards FAQ

    1. What is Minimum Monthly Repayment?
    2. This concept relates to the absolute minimum monthly repayment requirement that must be satisfied to avoid a late payment penalty. Card holders are required to either pay S$50 or 3% of the outstanding balance, whichever is higher.

    3. What is the minimum annual income requirement to apply for a credit card in Singapore?
    4. S$30,000

    5. What is balance transfer facility?
    6. The act of transferring the outstanding balance from one credit card to another card issued by a different bank is termed as balance transfer. This is usually done to avail lower interest rates as part of recurring offers that are usually promoted by banks offering credit cards in Singapore.

    7. What is the applicable credit limit?
    8. As stipulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, for individuals with annual income less than S$30,000, the credit limit on their credit cards is equivalent to two times their monthly salary. If the annual income exceeds S$30,000, the credit limit hikes to 4x of the applicant’s monthly salary.

    9. State the difference between Reward Points and Cashback offers?
    10. In the case of reward points, every swipe on the card returns points that can be redeemed for gifts or other products/services that are stipulated by the credit card company. In the case of cashback offers, every time the credit card is swiped in a designated outlet, a segment of cash is rebated back to the card owner. Cashback can be used to adjust against the repayment applicable on the credit card.

    11. In case of loss or theft of card, what should I do?
    12. In case of loss, theft or damage of card, the bank can issue a replacement card.

    13. What is meant by credit card limit?
    14. The maximum limit up to which a particular credit card holder can use his card is known as the credit card limit.

    15. What is late payment fee?
    16. The additional fees that one has to pay for late repayment of the credit card bills is known as late payment fee.

    17. What should be the minimum income limit for foreigners and non residents of Singapore to avail a credit card?
    18. In order to get a credit card in Singapore, non residents and foreigners must have an income of SGD 60,000 per annum

    19. What is meant by Finance Charge?
    20. The interest, fees and other charges that are associated with the credit card usage is known as Finance Charge.

    In Conclusion, this is the day and age of credit cards, a handy resource that can help you cruise through the many challenges and opportunities offered by life. With a wide selection to choose from, Singaporeans are particularly in the comfort zone when it comes to credit cards. Why wait? Get a credit card, TODAY!!

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